If you're looking to start or grow your small business, grants can be a big help. This article covers what you need to know about different types of grants, where to find them, and how to apply.
We also discuss the benefits of grants over loans, special grants for veterans, women, and minorities, and quick tips to boost your chances of getting a grant.
Whether you're new to the business world or already running a company, this guide has helpful information for you.
How do Small Business Grants Work?
Small business grants are free money given to help start or grow a small business. You don't have to pay this money back. Usually, grants come from the government, non-profit organizations, or private companies.
To get a grant, you usually have to fill out an application. This application may ask about your business idea, how you plan to use the money, and other details.
After you apply, a group of people will review your application. If they think your business idea is good, they will give you the grant. Sometimes, you may need to show how you used the money later.
Grants are very helpful but hard to get.
Many people apply, and only a few get the money. Make sure to read the rules carefully and give them all the information they ask for.
Types of Business Grants
There are many types of business grants, each for different needs and business stages. Some grants are for new businesses, while others are for businesses that are already running.
Government Grants: These come from local, state, or federal government. They are often for specific business areas like tech, farming, or healthcare.
Industry-Specific Grants: These grants are for businesses in certain industries. For example, a grant might be for a restaurant or a store that sells clothes.
Grants for Women, Minorities, and Veterans: Some grants aim to help specific groups of people. These could be for business owners who are women, belong to a minority, or are military veterans.
Local Community Grants: These are usually small grants given by local organizations. They help businesses that will make the local area better.
Innovation Grants: These grants are for businesses with new and exciting ideas. The money helps bring these ideas to life.
Emergency Grants: These are for businesses facing hard times, like natural disasters. The money helps the business get through the tough period.
Each type of grant has its own application process. Always read the details to know if a grant is right for you.
Where to Find Small Business Grants In 2023?
In 2023, you can find small business grants in several places. The internet is a good starting point. Websites that talk about business and money often list current grants.
Government Websites: Look for grants on government websites. Both federal and state governments have online pages that list available grants.
Local Organizations: Community centers and local business groups often know about small grants. They can tell you where to apply.
Social Media: Some grant organizations use social media to announce grants. Follow pages related to business and finance to stay updated.
Industry Events: Going to business events can also help. People often share grant information at these events.
Libraries: Believe it or not, libraries can have useful information. Some libraries have business sections with details about grants.
Online Searches: Simple online searches can also help. Use words like "small business grants 2023" to find the latest information.
What are the Small Business Grants Options available?
Federal Small-Business Grants
Name of the Grant or Program
Federal grants from various agencies
Search and apply online
Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer Programs
Technology and science, R&D
Specific to tech and science fields
USDA Rural Business Development Grant
Rural business growth
Must be in a rural area
Program for Investors in Microentrepreneurs
Very small businesses
Low-income areas, limited banking
State and Regional Grants for Small Businesses
Name of the Grant or Program
Economic Development Administration
Business plan often required
Small Business Development Center
General business advice and grants
New and existing businesses
Minority Business Development Agency Centers
State Trade Expansion Program
Funds for international business
Corporate Small-Business Grants
Name of the Grant or Program
National Association for the Self-Employed Growth Grant
Venmo Small Business Grant
Businesses using Venmo
Amazon Small Business Grant
Small Business Growth Fund
Open to various industries
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Top Small Business Awards
Best small businesses
Application, possibly interview
Visa Everywhere Initiative
Fintech and tech
Lenovo Evolve Small-Business Grant
Lenovo products part of grant
Verizon Small Business Digital Ready Grant Program
Funds and training
FedEx Small Business Grant Contest
Open to all small businesses
Grants to Start a Business
Name of the Grant or Program
Incfile Fresh Start Business Grant
Hello Alice Grant Platform
Amber Grant for Women
SubSummit Pitch Competition
Startups and new businesses
Small-Business Hardship Grants
Name of the Grant or Program
State and Local Small-Business Recovery Grants
Businesses in hardship
Check local government sites
Etsy Emergency Relief Fund
DoorDash Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund
In case of disaster
Small Business Readiness for Resiliency Program
Training, sometimes funds
Government Small Business Grants Vs. Private Small Business Grants
Government Small Business Grants
- Source: Money comes from local, state, or federal government.
- Strict Rules: Often have more requirements and paperwork.
- Focused Areas: Usually target specific sectors like technology, healthcare, or community development.
- Accountability: May require reports on how you used the money.
Private Small Business Grants
- Source: Money comes from companies or non-profit organizations.
- Flexible Rules: Usually less strict about how you can use the money.
- Open Fields: Can be for any type of business.
- High Competition: Often more people apply, making it harder to win.
Knowing the differences between government and private grants helps you choose the right one for your business needs.
Small business grants for Veterans
Small business grants for veterans are special grants to help military veterans start or grow a business. These grants aim to support veterans in becoming business owners.
Organizations and Government: Some grants come from veteran organizations or the government. They often ask for proof of military service when you apply.
Types of Grants: These grants can be for any kind of business. Some are for buying equipment, while others might help with business training.
Application Process: Like other grants, you have to apply to get the money. The application will ask about your business plan and how you will use the grant.
Specific Programs: Some programs are only for veterans. These may also offer other help like business training or mentorship along with money.
Grants for veterans are a good way to start or grow your business, but they can be competitive.
Make sure to give all the information they ask for.
Small Business Grants for Women
Small business grants for women aim to help women start or expand a business. Organizations, private companies, and governments offer these grants. They can be for any industry, from tech to arts.
How to Find Them: Look online or ask local business groups for information. Websites that focus on business often list grants for women.
Small Business Grants for Minorities
Grants for minorities are to help business owners from certain racial or ethnic groups. These grants aim to level the playing field and offer more opportunities.
Where They Come From: Governments, private companies, and non-profits often offer these grants. Search online or contact organizations that support minority entrepreneurs to find them.
Small Business Grants for Startups
Grants for startups are for businesses that are just beginning. These grants help new business owners buy equipment, market, or hire staff.
Places to Look: Startup grants can come from many places, including governments, private companies, and venture capitalists. Websites that talk about startups often list available grants.
How to apply for and get Small Business Grants?
Step 1: Research
The first step is to find the right grant for your business. Look online, visit government websites, and talk to local organizations to find grants that fit your needs.
Step 2: Check Eligibility
Make sure you meet all the requirements. Each grant has different rules, like business size or
industry. Read these carefully.
Step 3: Gather Documents
Collect all the papers and information you will need. This could include a business plan, tax records, or proof of your skills.
Step 4: Write Application
Fill out the grant application form. Answer all questions and give all the details they ask for. Sometimes, you also need to write a proposal to explain your business idea.
Step 5: Review
Check everything again to make sure it's correct. Mistakes can cost you the grant.
Step 6: Submit
Send your application before the deadline. Some grants allow online submission, while others
might require a printed application.
Step 7: Wait and Follow-Up
After you send the application, there's usually a waiting period. Some grant organizations will tell you how long this is.
Step 8: If Selected, Use Money Wisely
If you get the grant, use the money as you said you would. Some grants ask for reports to show how you used the money.
Step 9: Report Back
If the grant rules say so, send a report back to the grant organization. This shows that you used the money well.
Each step is important in getting a small business grant.
Do's & Don'ts For Small Business Grants
Do's of Winning Business Grants
1. Do Your Homework: Research well to find the grants that fit your business. The better the fit, the higher your chances of winning.
2. Follow Instructions: Read all the rules and follow them. Missing a step could disqualify you.
3. Proofread: Check your application for errors. Spelling and grammar mistakes look unprofessional.
4. Be Honest: Only give true information. Lies can get you disqualified and harm your reputation.
5. Keep Copies: Always keep a copy of your application. This is useful for future reference.
6. Follow-Up: Contact the grant organization after submitting to check on your application status.
Don'ts of Winning Business Grants
1. Don't Rush: Take time to complete the application. Mistakes can hurt your chances.
2. Don't Leave Gaps: Answer all questions and provide all required documents. Missing information can lead to rejection.
3. Don't Be Vague: Be clear and specific in your answers. Vague answers can confuse the reviewers.
4. Remember Deadlines: Always send your application before the due date. Late applications are usually not accepted.
5. Don't Ignore Small Grants: Even small amounts can help. Pay attention to a grant just because it's not a large sum.
6. Don't Give Up: Try again if you don't win. Each grant is a new chance to get funding.
Following these dos and don'ts can improve your chances of winning a business grant.
Quick Tips for Getting More Small Business Grants
1. Start Early: The sooner you start looking, the more grants you can apply for.
2. Use a Checklist: Make a list of all required papers and steps. This helps you stay organized.
3. Network: Talk to other business owners or go to business events. Networking can lead you to grant opportunities you learned about.
4. Get Help: If writing is something other than your strength, consider getting professional help for your application or proposal.
Small Business Grants Vs. Small Business Loans
Small Business Grants
- Free Money: You don't have to pay back grants.
- Competitive: Harder to get because everyone wants free money.
- Paperwork: Usually need to fill out forms and maybe even write a proposal.
- Limited Use: Must use the money as stated in the grant rules.
Small Business Loans
- Borrowed Money: You must pay back the loan, usually with interest.
- Easier to Get: Often easier to qualify for than grants.
- Flexible Use: You can usually use the loan for any business need.
- Credit Impact: Taking and repaying a loan can affect your credit score.
Available Government Small Business Grants
There are different types of government grants for small businesses. Some focus on technology, others are for healthcare, and some may be for community improvement.
The best way to find government grants is to look on official websites.
By using these tips and understanding the differences between grants and loans, you can make smarter choices for your business. Always look for new opportunities, and be prepared when you find the right funding.
How Do You Qualify for a Small Business Grant?
You usually need a good business idea and a plan to use the grant money to qualify. Each grant has its rules, like what industry it's for or who can apply.
Do You Have to Pay Back Small Business Grants?
No, you don't have to pay back small business grants. They are free money given to help you start or grow your business.
Limit on Number of Grants
There is usually no set limit on the number of grants you can apply for. However, each grant has its own rules. Some might say you can't get another grant from them for a certain time.
Type of Credit Needed
Credit requirements vary for each grant. Some grants might check your credit, while others do not.
How Much Grant Money Can I Get?
The amount varies for each grant. Some grants offer small amounts like $500, while others might offer thousands or even more. The grant details will tell you how much money you can get.
Knowing these facts will help you understand what you need to get a small business grant.
The Verdict - Small Business Grants
Grants can be a game-changer for your small business if you know where to look and how to apply. We've walked you through the types of grants available, steps to apply, and tips to improve your chances.
Whether it's a government grant, a private grant, or a special grant aimed at specific groups like veterans, women, or minorities, there's likely an opportunity that fits your needs.
Remember, grants don't need to be paid back, making them a valuable resource for your business growth.
Disclaimer: The above is a sponsored post, the views expressed are those of the sponsor/author and do not represent the stand and views of Outlook Editorial.